In the Michigan Daily article updated today about Cissoko's dismissal
this quote from Wilcher, his HS coach, stuck out to me:
"Wilcher said Cissoko struggled in his classes freshman year, but did 'whatever it took to make sure he got his grades.' "
But Wilcher then later said:
"Well, it depends on how he comes out with this right here," Wilcher said, adding that the decision hinges on Cissoko's grades. "I think he'll probably go someplace else and play."
What this means to mean is that I think we may not have to worry about the dreaded double neg in APR hit for a player not being eligible and leaving. We'll get dinged for him leaving, but if we take Wilcher's quote at face value, he will likely be eligible at whatever other school he transfers to, unless Cissoko goes completely over the edge and starts making FuckLion raps.
Then again, I could be all wrong.
With Woolfolk moving over to Cissoko's corner spot and our safety play being (let's face it) abysmal, is it a good time to shift Cissoko to safety. This could potentially provide several advantages.
Currently our safety play has been decent against the run, but just awful against the pass. Cissoko has the experience of covering recievers and the ability to read plays, but lacks both the necessary height and speed to be an elite corner. If he plays at safety he's be playing farther back, keeping opposing recievers in front of him and allowing him to utilize his coverage skills. At the same time this would also, to a degree, keep opponents from taking advantage of his size/speed (see: ND and Floyd).
In my mind this is an obvious move, helping improve our secondary while allowing Woolfolk to continue to play corner (which I feel he does better than Cissoko at this point).
What do you think?
The subject of that diary was about how Cissoko looks to be the second coming of Todd Howard. In some ways that will give you nightmares and in others it might leave you feeling mildly content a couple of years from now. But that wasn't what struck me when I read that Diary.
What struck me was that in the past 15 years Michigan has always had a lock-down corner on the field in every year but three. Here's the rundown:
- '92 - '94 = Ty Law
- '95 - '97 = Charles Woodson
- '98 - '00 = ???
- '01 - '04 = Marlin Jackson
- '03 - '06 = Leon Hall
- '07 - ?? = Donovan Warren
The two primary corners during that gap in '98-'00 were James Whitley and Todd Howard. Whitley was supposed to be a stud recruit and I remember a quote from Woodson where he talked about Whitley potentially being better than he was. Well, that obviously didn't happen. Whitley will forever be known as a guy with decent speed and size who could run step for step with recievers but never make a play on the ball.
You'll also remember this era as when Plexico "Rikers" Buress dominated Michigan to the point where Carr desperately put David Terrell in the game at CB in an attempt to slow him down. This did not go well:
So why am I bringing this up? Well, there was an interesting Detroit Lions Notebook today in the Detroit News:
(Sidenote - Who knew that Carson Butler was only now being cut from an NFL practice squad? And who knew that he is still considered a defensive end instead of a tight end? Ahh Carson, what a weird trajectory your life has taken.)
But the shocking thing to me from this notebook is that the Lions starting corner named Will James is the former Will Peterson of the 1997 Michigan National Championship team. He left the program for reasons I can't recall (academics?) and went to Western Kentucky. Since then he's been in the NFL for 8 seasons and has been a starter for part of that time.
If you look at that original chart I put up you'll see that he would have been on the team during that post-Woodson void of a lock-down corner. Maybe he would have been that guy? It made me wonder what would have been different for Michigan had he been able to stay on the team. Whitley would have been a good #2 CB and Howard would have been an excellent nickel back.
So I end this diary with a challenge to the readers: What other former UM players can you think of who ended up having solid careers but didn't last at Michigan? Imagine how things could have been different if these players had stayed a full four years. I'll get you started with some classics:
- Trevor Pryce - He turned into a dominant NFL pass rusher after leaving Michigan. If you look at the lack of elite pass rushers in Michigan history you have to wonder how great he could have been had he stayed.
- Justin Fargas - Probably the most memorable Michigan defectors of all time, he's had a solid NFL career at RB after he could never figure it out at Michigan and actually spent time at safety before transferring to USC. I still can't figure out what happened (besides the injury) with his inability to be an effective RB for us.
- Jon Ritchie - Despite being somewhat of a tool (personal experience from living in West Quad at the same time as him), he became an excellent NFL fullback and would have been a valuable asset for Carr had he finished his career there.
for ND? Any updates??